Tesla's Valet Mode: How to turn it on and everything it does

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison

In 2020, at a resort in San Antonio, a Model S owner had their car damaged by a valet who wanted to test out Cheetah mode. The joyride did not end well for this valet who crashed the car into a concrete wall, which was captured on the car’s dash cam.

Many luxury carmakers have invented ways to prevent a valet from damaging the car or accessing personal data. Some carmakers introduced valet keys that could limit top speed, reduce acceleration and lock the glove box. Although these features improved the safety and privacy of the car, the physical keys were impractical because they could be stolen or lost. Valet keys have been outdated since Chevrolet introduced virtual Valet Mode in 2014.

Tesla also implemented a Valet Mode of its own that improves upon the safety and privacy features of the valet key. Tesla's Valet Mode is a feature that prevents valets from driving recklessly and having access to the owner's personal information. Tesla introduced the feature in 2015 as part of an over-the-air software update.

Tesla's Valet Mode
Tesla's Valet Mode
MonsterGadgets/YouTube

Everything Valet Mode Does

When Valet Mode is activated, Tesla’s operating system restricts some of the car's functionality. Valet Mode will limit the car's maximum speed to 70 mph, reduce acceleration by about 50 percent and disable the use of autopilot.

In addition to these safety features, the security and privacy features include the automatic locking of the glove box and frunk. Valet Mode also keeps the user's information private by blocking certain personal information from appearing on the display screen. This keeps information such as addresses, contacts and schedules completely private. Valet Mode also disables Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and navigation functionality.

Valet Mode Restrictions

Valet Mode restrictions the following features:

  • Speed limited to 70 mph
  • Acceleration restricted to “Chill”
  • The front trunk and glove box will lock, the trunk will remain accessible
  • Voice commands are disabled
  • Navigation is disabled so that it does not allow access to recent destinations, favorites or home and work addresses
  • Autopilot/FSD is disabled
  • Allow Mobile Access setting cannot be changed
  • HomeLink (if applicable) is not available
  • Driver profiles are not available
  • The touchscreen will not display the list of keys that can access the car
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled, and you cannot view or add a new device
  • Sentry Mode options can’t be changed (if Sentry Mode is on, it can’t be turned off)
  • Smart summon is disabled
  • Calendar is not available
  • The Upgrades section in Controls > Upgrades is disabled

There are a few other features that are inaccessible while Valet Mode is enabled. The most obvious of which is Ludicrous Mode, which allows the driver to access the full acceleration power of the Tesla.

This mode is only available for some performance models. Smart Summon is also inaccessible while in Valet Mode. However, if your Tesla is parked in Valet Mode, you can disable Valet Mode from the mobile app, and proceed to Smart Summon your car.

Charging

Although Tesla limits many features while the vehicle is in Valet Mode to protect your privacy and your vehicle, it does not limit the ability to charge.

This can be useful when you visit a valet location with chargers on site. The valet can plug your Tesla in to charge while it is parked.

Speed Limit

Although the speed limit for Valet Mode defaults to 70 mph, you can customize it to your preference using "Speed Limit Mode". The speed limit can be set in safety settings by turning on the Speed Limit Mode and creating a 4-digit PIN.

By turning on Speed Limit Mode, you can set a custom maximum speed that cannot be changed without your PIN. You can set the maximum speed in the car or in the Security section of the Tesla app.

How to Turn On Valet Mode

Valet Mode can be activated from within the vehicle and through the mobile app. To activate it from within the car, tap your profile name on the display screen. A drop-down menu will appear, select the last tab labeled “Valet Mode.” you will be prompted to enter a four-digit PIN the first time you enable Valet Mode. Once the PIN is entered, the screen will display that Valet Mode has been enabled. You can also use the mobile app to turn Valet Mode on and off, assuming the vehicle is parked, by clicking ”Security” and then “Valet Mode”.

PIN to Drive

If you use PIN to Drive, an additional security feature that requires you to enter a valid PIN code to start the car, this feature is disabled while the car is in Valet Mode. Once you start Valet Mode, you’ll be prompted to enter your PIN to Drive code. This code will be saved and will not require the valet driver to enter a PIN to start the car.

Teen Drivers

Valet Mode can also come in handy when letting a teen drive to prevent them from speeding or using functionality that could be dangerous for a new driver, such as using the car’s full acceleration or using Autopilot. None of the Tesla’s safety features are disabled while in Valet Mode.

If you prefer, you can just enable Speed Limit Mode so that they can still access navigation, music, and other features.

Teslas are fun cars to drive and some people may be tempted to test the car’s instant torque, fast acceleration and amazing Autopilot capabilities, but these features should be used with permission.

Since Teslas are capable of high speed and fast acceleration, Valet Mode is an advisable feature to use. The higher performance of a car, the greater the risk of an accident when left in the hands of a valet driver.

Tesla owners can have peace of mind knowing that Valet Mode can prevent speeding and reckless driving and protect their privacy when someone else is behind the wheel.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

Tesla Model Y, the best selling EV in Q1, wins U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV'

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Tesla Model Y wins U.S. News Best Luxury SUV
Kelley Blue Book

Tesla's Model Y has won U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV' award. U.S. News writes "Despite the onslaught of new competitors, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can buy at the moment," U.S. News added, “If you’re in the market, this is an option that’s well-worth a test drive.”

The Model Y was first delivered to owners in early 2020 and was the automaker’s second mass-market vehicle after the Model 3. The Model Y effectively expanded Tesla’s product line to include a new body style. Tesla’s Model Y has rapidly become the company's best-selling vehicle, despite being more expensive than the Model 3. This speaks to the prominence of the Model Y, dominating the widely-popular crossover SUV sector. 

Tesla's Model Y starts at $62,990, making it much more appealing to mass markets than the Model X which starts at $114,990. Tesla's Model X has been offered for seven years, but is still only produced for sentimental reasons, according to CEO Elon Musk.

U.S. News highlights that, while the Model Y offers less cargo and utility room than the Model X, it still includes many of the same tech features and comparable performance. A fully enhanced Model Y has a 0 to 60 MPH of just 3.5 seconds while still having over 300 miles of range and a 155 MPH top speed.

It's no surprise that the Model Y was the recipient of the U.S. News ‘Best Luxury Electric SUV’ award as it topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, U.S. EV sales were up 60% year-over-year, demonstrating the continued shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles.

Tesla had the top 3 best selling EVs

Tesla took first, second and third place with an impressive 52,051 registered units for the Model Y, and 47,682 registered units of the Model 3. These two models alone make up the bulk of the entire U.S. EV market. Tesla also achieved third place with 9,250 registrations of the Model S and seventh place is the Tesla Model X with 4,899 registrations. Tesla remains the leader in EV sales, consistently selling a number of vehicles unattainable to competitors.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

How to add more 'Quick Control' icons in the Tesla app

By Rene Pepin
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app
You can add a fifth Quick Control icon to the Tesla app

Tesla completely redesigned their app with version 4.0 last year. Since then Tesla has been quickly iterating on its features with updates and new features coming every few weeks.

With version 4.3 of the Tesla app, Tesla added the ability to customize the Quick Control buttons on the main screen.

You can add up to four buttons, but with this little trick, you can also add a fifth icon.

Add a Fifth Icon to the Tesla App

To add a fifth icon start by long-pressing the row of icons to bring up an editing screen to sort or replace those icons with the ones you use most frequently.

Now here is where the fun starts because it will take a little manual dexterity to add the additional icon but when you do it correctly your sense of accomplishment will out weight your initial frustration.

Here is the trick:

With your right thumb, pick up one of the available icons and drag it over the fourth icon (in the screen above it is the Front Trunk icon), but do not release it.

While keeping your right thumb held down, use your thumb on your left hand to press on the 1st icon (in the screen above it is the HVAC icon), and drag it to the second icon (the Defrost icon). The icon you have brought up will move offscreen to the right into the invisible fifth spot.

Release both fingers simultaneously and VIOLA a fifth icon will magically appear.

Have fun mixing and matching your icons as your needs change. You can update the icon bar as often as needed.

Video

Tesla used to allow users to continue to add an unlimited amount of icons, but it wasn't a great experience so the total number of icons is now limited to five.

Additional Tips

There are several other useful bits of information about the Tesla app that could make it more useful.

For example, you can tap the battery icon at the top of the screen to access charging information. This brings up the same information as tapping on the Charge Quick Control icon.

If you prefer tapping the battery icon, you can remove the Charge icon from the Quick Controls area, allowing you to free up a spot, essentially giving you an extra Quick Control slot.

Wake Up Your Vehicle Quicker

When using the app most commands are executed through the vehicle's internet connection, which requires your vehicle to be awake.

Waiting for your vehicle to wake up could sometimes take up to a minute, but there is a way to speed it up if you're within Bluetooth distance (around 30 feet).

Some commands are sent via Bluetooth, which allows them to be completed even if the vehicle is asleep. This includes locking and unlocking the doors.

When completing one of these commands, your Tesla starts to turn on almost immediately.

If you're waiting for your vehicle to turn on, you can send a command to lock/unlock your vehicle and your vehicle should wake up quicker than just waiting.

Widget

If you've added a fifth icon to your Quick Controls and use the Tesla app widget, then the widget will now display all five icons as well.

No Need to Wait

With the introduction of the Tesla app version 4.0 last year, Tesla quietly rolled out a feature that changes the way you use the app.

Previously, you needed to open the Tesla app, wait for your vehicle to wake up, and then you could send a command to the car, such as using turning on the climate system or using HomeLink.

However, now you can simply open the app, tap your desired function (it'll show a spinning circle) and you can quit the app.

Instead of the command going directly to your car, it will now be sent to Tesla. Tesla's servers will be the ones who wait for your vehicle to wake up, and when it does, Tesla will execute the command.

If for some reason Tesla isn't able to wake up your vehicle due to a poor connection or another error, then you'll receive a notification saying the command failed.

This makes turning on the HVAC system a much more enjoyable experience.

Writers Wanted

We're looking for a freelance writer who loves Tesla as much as we do. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you! Find out more.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.